Jesus showed real love by serving those who could do nothing for him.
Luke 7:36-50 (focusing on 44-50)
36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”
“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Jesus’ life was about loving those who could do nothing for him. The parable in this story is a perfect example of this. Both men owed debt, but the moneylender cancelled it. He showed compassion towards two people who could do nothing for him.
The woman who kissed and poured perfume on his feet was also a sinner who could do nothing for Jesus. She couldn’t support Jesus in his ministry, or prevent the crucifixion from happening. She must have also been under great emotional stress to be crying at Jesus’ feet. The impact of her sin must have been overwhelming her. But she had faith, knew that she was a sinner and recognized Jesus as the One who forgives sin. Despite how broken she was, Jesus forgave her and loved her. Love follows forgiveness and love is the proof that a person has received forgiveness. The more people are forgiven, the more they are loved.
Although we aren’t as broken as the woman in the story, we need forgiveness just as much as she did. We can’t do anything for Jesus, yet still Jesus loves us and forgives our sin. Jesus’ life is all about loving those who could do nothing for him. Although we can’t do anything to completely cut sin out of our lives, Jesus deals with our sin by his crucifixion and resurrection. He loves us so much, that he took our place. When you lust after something, your heart and mind turns away from Jesus and sin enters your life. We forget about what we do have, a perfect relationship with a God who loves and forgives us when we sin and repent. Embracing Jesus as king of your life is about embracing God’s love and intimacy. In Jesus death and resurrection, we die to lust and rise to love and intimacy.
Head: How does Jesus show real love to other people who are sinners and can do nothing for him?
Heart: How does it feel knowing that Jesus devoted his whole life towards loving you despite your sin?
Hands: What are some practical ways that you can show love towards other people?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come before you acknowledging that I can do nothing to completely cut off all of the sin in my life. I’m so grateful and thankful that you sent Jesus to die in my place. You showed real love towards me even though I fall well short of your perfect standards. Help me to show that same love to other people, even if those people can do nothing for me in return. Amen.
Song Choice: This is Love
Mick Lather- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina